Historic Tour of Matjiesfontein

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    Hotel outside resized
    05 Sep 2016
    Clock 45min      Length1mi
    Rating
    20 ratings
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    Tourdescription About the audio tour

    Tour the perfectly preserved Victorian town of Matjiesfontein with renowned author Dean Allen. Starting at the majestic Lord Milner Hotel, you'll be guided down the high street, through the immaculate gardens, and along the train station, ending up at The Laird's Arms for a well-deserved pint.

    Over the course of the walk, Dean will tell the tale of the village's creation by the 'ideal colonialist', James Logan, in the late 1800s. You will follow Logan's transformation from a penniless 19-year-old Scottish immigrant to the man who built a model town in the middle of nowhere, influenced trade and politics, and toured Britain with his very own South African cricket team.

    For more about Dean Allen, visit his website: www.deanallen.co.za

    Majorlandmarks Major Landmarks

    The Lord Milner Hotel, Tweedside Lodge, The Laird's Arms, Matjiesfontein Train Station

    Startingpoint Directions to starting point

    The tour begins outside The Lord Milner Hotel on Matjiesfontein's main road, in the picturesque front courtyard.

    Tips Tips

    Places to stop along the way:

    The Old Post Office, Travellers Chapel, The Transport Museum, The Marie Rawdon Museum, Railway Museum, Coffee House, The Laird's Arms

    Best time to walk:

    The walk can be done at any time, but the gardens are particularly beautiful in the morning. You might like to start this tour around 4:30pm, to arrive at the Laird's Arms in time to take "the world's shortest bus tour", which leaves from right in front of the pub.

    Precautions:

    If there has been heavy rain, the river crossing may be flooded. Please check this with the hotel's front desk before starting the tour. The gardens are also known to have a few resident snakes, so keep your eyes open and be aware along this section.

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    It was awesome and so interesting!! Amazing history. So much fun to listen while walking. And my husband also listened and it was not me talking! Erika van Rooyen

    Historic Tour of Matjiesfontein

    Hotel outside resized
    05 Sep 2016
    Clock 45min      Length1mi
    Rating
    20 ratings
    Share

    Welcome: The Lord Milner Hotel

    Welcome: The Lord Milner Hotel
    Historic Tour of Matjiesfontein

    Hello, and welcome to Matjiesfontein! My name is Dean Allen. I spent 10 years digging through archives and travelling the country, researching and writing the incredible history of this town in a book called Empire, War and Cricket.

    Today, I'll be taking you on a tour of this quirky little town, this Victorian oasis in the middle of nowhere. I'll tell you about the incredible history of Matjiesfontein, but mainly we'll talk about the man who envisioned what this blip on the map could be and made it so - a Scotsman, would you believe, called James Logan.

    You should be standing in front of the magnificent Lord Milner Hotel, the flagship building of the high street and indeed of the town. Before we set off, I'm going to tell you a little bit about the journey I went on while writing the book. You might want to take a seat on one of the chairs outside, or one of the benches next to the front gate, if it's not too hot.

    [3 SECOND PAUSE]

    Comfortable? Good! Let's dive right in.

    You might be wondering why a Brit is giving you a lesson in South African history. Well, my love affair with SA goes back many years. As soon as I set foot on these shores, I felt at home; the land and its people moved and inspired me, and I knew I wanted to live here. I first visited Matjiesfontein in 1997 and was immediately enthralled by the place. I wanted to learn more, and went to buy one of the history books that had surely been written. But only one existed - and it left too many questions unanswered.

    So I did what anyone would have done. I moved to South Africa and wrote a PhD on the town, digging deep into its history. The story I found was so unique that it only made sense to turn it into a book. I was encouraged by David Rawdon, who had famously bought the town in 1968 from the original owners and brought it back to its former glory. Dave was instrumental in my writing the book, telling me that as long as I worked on it, breakfasts at the Lord Milner were on him! Unfortunately, he died before the book was released, but his family still owns the estate, and his legacy survives in the continued maintenance and revival of this beautiful village.

    So let's get going! Walk out of the front courtyard through the hotel's main gates now. Then turn left, and start walking down the road. As we make our way through the town I'll tell you how this oasis in the Karoo came to be, and all about the man who made it so.

    VoiceMap uses your phone's GPS to pinpoint your location and play the relevant audio. This means you can put your phone away now and relax. I'll tell you where to go. If you hear some stretches of silence, don't panic - we're just between locations. All you need to do is keep walking straight until I tell you otherwise.

    Logan Leaves Britain

    Logan Leaves Britain
    Historic Tour of Matjiesfontein

    Keep walking straight, continuing along the dirt road ahead.

    You're walking through a perfectly preserved Victorian village, in the middle of nowhere. This is a product of the British Empire at its height - lampposts imported from London, ornate ironwork from the foundries of Scotland, floors and ceilings made of Canadian pine... all built by a 25-year-old working class Scotsman. It's his story we'll be following today - the story of James Douglas Logan.

    Logan was born in Reston, Scotland, in 1957. He left school at the age of 14 to work on the railways with his father. At 19, he realised he wasn't going to achieve his ambitions if he remained in Britain, and he set off for a colonial outpost to make his fortune. He was actually on his way to Australia, by way of Cape Town, but someone told him that diamonds had just been discovered in Kimberley. So he got signed off by the ship’s master at Simon’s Town, and made his way to the newly built Cape Town station. He was clearly a bright young lad, and was promoted from porter to station master in a matter of months.

    Now, folklore says he was shipwrecked and swam ashore with just the clothes he was wearing, but that definitely didn't happen - I found his discharge papers. It was a rumour Logan kept alive, however, and we'll see how he used publicity to further his goals later on.

    Continue straight.

    A Businessman is Born

    A Businessman is Born
    Historic Tour of Matjiesfontein

    Now stop here. You might want a moment to take in the glorious mountains in front of you, and to your right.

    [2 SECOND PAUSE]

    While at Cape Town Station, Logan made some great business associates, and started accumulating wealth through shady under-the-table dealings in diamonds, as well as stocks and shares. He was offered the influential position of District Superintendent of the Karoo Region, but to take the position he couldn't be a single man. Within three months, he married a well-connected hotelier's daughter, called Emma, and together they moved to Touw's Rivier, about 55 kilometres from Matjiesfontein. This was a man who knew how to get things done.

    [1 SECOND PAUSE]

    Now turn around, so that the railway is behind you. Look at the open patch of land, in front of you and to your left. It might not look like it, but this was once a lush first-class cricket pitch. Make your way to the centre of the pitch, just to the right of the warehouse building.

    Logan needed a smokescreen to obscure his shady dealings, and he built his first hotel and bought a refreshments facility near Touw's Rivier. He knew that the influx of diamonds from Kimberley meant the British would be building a railway network, and wanted to capitalize on this. So he bought three farms around Matjiesfontein, a stop on the main railway, and started building his town in 1883. Just two years later, it was complete.

    Keep heading for the middle of the pitch.

    The Cricket Pitch

    Pay wave

    Can you see the bare patch in the grass, just to your right? That used to be the centre of the pitch. Walk over to it, and stop in the middle.

    [3 SECOND PAUSE]

    From here, you can really get a sense that this was once a beautiful place to play cricket. The stones around the edges of this patch of grass were once the boundaries, and if the main road and the mountains are on your right, the left-most corner is where the pavilion would have been.

    The first plans for Matjiesfontein included the hotel and the state-of-the-art railway station, but it was also built around sports. The plans included a swimming pool, tennis courts, and even a golf course. But in the middle of the town was this, the cricket pitch you're standing on now. Why would a Scotsman build a town around cricket?

    You see, Logan knew the power of sports. At the time, cricket was the number one sport in the English-speaking world, but the English cricket team hadn't yet visited South Africa. Logan wanted to build a town centred around the sport, and bring the English cricket team to play on his field. In fact, some of the first cricket matches between England and South Africa happened where you're standing right now.

    How's that for a smokescreen? No-one would question where such a man made his money, would they?

    [1 SECOND PAUSE]

    While Logan was creating his town and accumulating wealth, the English team visited South Africa for the first time – playing the first-ever Test match at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth. After seeing the publicity created by that visit, he set out to control the next tour. He did this by making a deal with Walter Read, the England captain, who led the tour. Logan would sponsor everything, and would get his money back plus interest when it was over.

    [1 SECOND PAUSE]

    All right, shall we move on? Turn so that the main road is off to your left. The warehouse built on the side of the pitch is the Matjiesfontein transport museum, which you may want to visit later. Walk over to it, and then continue along its right-hand side until you reach the road.

    [1 SECOND PAUSE]

    The English team came down, but the tour didn't make as much money as everyone had hoped, and the English tried to slip away without paying their debts. James Logan, our industrious Scotsman, had the England cricket team ARRESTED as they boarded their ship back home! He took them to court and won, becoming a darling of the local press, here in South Africa!

    Keep walking to the road ahead.

    Collecting Celebrities

    Pay wave

    Now cross the road in front of you, and walk straight between the buildings along the gravel pathway. Then go up the stairs and walk through the courtyard.

    Logan was constantly working his town's public image. Olive Schreiner, the famous novelist, moved to Matjiesfontein in 1890, and the statesman Lord Randolph Churchill, father of Winston, paid it a visit the following year.

    Logan heard that the famous cricketer George Lohmann, said to be the best of his generation, was suffering from TB and was moving to Beaufort West do aid his ailing lungs. Logan had other ideas – he met the famous sportsman at Cape Town docks and moved him to Matjiesfontein instead, all expenses paid!

    Keep heading through the courtyard.

    A Treasure Trove and Political Mishaps

    Pay wave

    Now stop here, next to the stairs going down to the lower section of this beautiful garden. Let's take a break here, shall we? Before we do, though, let me show you where we'll be going next. Look down the stairs, at the long building in front of you. Can you see the small chapel, just to the left of it? We'll be going between these two buildings in a little while. But don't head that way just yet - I have a tale to tell you. You might want to take a seat on the bench under the awning of the long building at the bottom of the courtyard while you listen.

    [4 SECOND PAUSE]

    While I was in Matjiesfontein trying to write the book, I learned of a man called Major John Buist. He was James Logan's grandson, and would spend weekends at Tweedside Lodge, the old family home. Major Buist was sitting on the family archives, and I needed access to them if I was to write this incredible story. But he was suspicious of strangers - people had stolen from him before, borrowed things and not returned them. I was persistent, though - remember, I kept coming back to Matjiesfontein for Dave Rawdon's breakfasts - and one day he invited me into the Lodge.

    What I saw inside was magnificent. On the walls were letters from Cecil Rhodes, poems from Rudyard Kipling, solid silver trophies from the English cricket teams, and piles of letters and documents. Then he handed me an old suitcase, the kind Paddington Bear would carry around. And when I opened it, a treasure trove - it was full of James Logan's private documents and photographs – never seen before - I had struck gold! This was the original information I needed to write this unique story.

    [2 SECOND PAUSE]

    Now, where did we leave James Logan? Last we heard of him, he was collecting celebrities, having just landed George Lohmann - which was kind of like getting David Beckham to come live in your self-made town in the middle of the Karoo. Lohmann gave him influence in the UK, allowing him to plan his tour of the South African cricket team to Britain. Other celebrities that visited Matjiesfontein included Rudyard Kipling, and the Sultan of Zanzibar. It was quite the hotspot!

    But Logan had well-known political allies too. He and Cecil Rhodes were close friends, often spending weekends together here at Matjiesfontein. He was also a friend of fellow Scotsman James Sivewright, who used his position in Rhodes’ first Cape Government to award Logan an incredibly lucrative contract - the monopoly on all refreshment contracts along the railway line, from Cape Town to Bulawayo. However, the deal was quickly discovered and protested against. John Merriman, who was Treasurer-General at the time, called Rhodes back from his holiday in England and persuaded him to withdraw the contract. The fallout from this controversy brought down Cecil Rhodes' first government.

    So what does Logan do? He sues the government for 50 000 pounds in damages, and is rewarded 5000, coming out with his reputation intact. This man was clearly a force to be reckoned with!

    Alright, let's get going again. Walk between the long building and the chapel I showed you when we were at the top of the stairs. I'll meet you there.

    Traveller's Chapel

    Pay wave

    Walk down this small set of stairs and stop in front of the little chapel on your left.

    [2 SECOND PAUSE]

    This is the Traveller's Chapel, a building that originally housed the gas-generating equipment which was used light up the village. It was converted into a chapel dedicated to David Rawdon's father, George Rawdon. Feel free to have a look inside.

    When you're done, head down the large flight of stairs ahead, and cross the river. Watch out - it can get a little slippery! I'll meet you on the other side.

    The Gardens

    Pay wave

    Now walk straight through the gardens, towards the stairs at the end of the long strip of grass in front of you.

    James Logan planned beautiful garden in great detail, and many of these wonderful trees were imported by the man himself.

    Carry on heading straight.

    Logan Enters Politics

    Pay wave

    Now go up the stairs in front of you, and turn left to walk alongside the reservoir.

    Logan saw what politics was doing for other people, and wanted to do it himself. He was elected as member of the legislative assembly for nearby Worcester in 1894. How did he do it? Well, he bought the local newspaper, and controlled the media to his own ends. You can still find his original campaign poster in the local bar, in which he called himself the 'friend of the working man'.

    Carry on walking along the reservoir.

    To the White Bench

    Pay wave

    The stairs in front of you go up to the pool. If it's a hot day, you might want to remember this spot. But for now, let's turn left, and keep walking through the gardens.

    [2 SECOND PAUSE]

    Look towards the river, across the open patch of grass on your left. Can you see the white bench in the shade of the trees? Head over there now. I’ll meet you there.

    War

    Pay wave

    Take a seat on the bench, and rest your feet awhile. From here, you can see the back of James Logan's private home in Matjiesfontein - it's the double-storey house you can see through the trees on the other side of the river, with the red roof and white-painted balcony. He didn't do too badly for himself, did he?

    [3 SECOND PAUSE]

    Logan now controlled the media and sport, and was known as the Laird of Matjiesfontein - a title he gave himself. He spent thousands of pounds creating a lush, green cricket pitch to play on, and was so important in the cricket scene that when the English team next toured SA, he was pictured as part of the team. This photograph is also on display in the pub next to the hotel.

    [2 SECOND PAUSE]

    We've spoken about sport and empire, but what about war? Well, in October 1899, a few months after the South African Cricket Association agreed to Logan's plans to take the SA team to Britain, the second Anglo-Boer War began. Logan, like most imperialists, thought the war would be over by Christmas - but as we all know, he was to be proved wrong.

    He then did something quite unexpected - he gave Matjiesfontein over to the service of Queen and country. By November 1899, there were in the region of 12000 imperial troops camped around the village. If you look around the surrounding veldt, you can still find scraps of bully beef cans, bits of shrapnel, and pieces of that thick Victorian glass. Logan had completed his flagship building just as the war began - the Hotel Milner, where we started our walk, later renamed Lord Milner by David Rawdon. So it wasn't one of his star-spangled selection of celebrities who first stayed in the hotel, but high-ranking officers like Douglas Haig and Lord Kitchener.

    Logan created a small force of his own, too, a local militia who never saw any action but were nonetheless important for appearances. His military friends even gave him the temporary rank of Major so he could travel along the railway during the war.

    [1 SECOND PAUSE]

    There was a rumour that Logan had been wounded in battle, and his horse shot from beneath him. But I actually found a letter he wrote to his wife, telling her how he watched the battle from afar - he even said he'd be home in time for supper! Typical James Logan, however, didn't dispute the rumour, and the London Times reported it as fact. Now he was a war hero, too - the man really knew how to get good publicity!

    Around that time, the renowned military commander Andrew Wauchope – again a fellow Scotsman - was sent to South Africa to help with the war efforts. Logan met him at the docks and they had the briefest of meetings - Wauchope was off to the front, after all. He went straight to the battle of Magersfontein, and was one of the first to be killed, when a bullet struck him above his eye. He was buried near where he fell, and that have should been the end of that.

    But Logan had other plans. In a conversation with his high-ranking officer friends, he persuaded them that during the short conversation they had had at the docks, Wauchope had told him, "if I fall during this battle, I would like to be buried in Matjiesfontein". Logan had a velvet-lined coffin made, and exhumed the fallen soldier's body after it had only been in the ground a week. He then had him reburied with full military honours, just outside of his model village. As if that wasn't enough, he built a 20 foot high monument made of pure granite imported from Aberdeen.

    [1 SECOND PAUSE]

    By now you've heard enough about Logan to know that this was purely a publicity stunt; the velvet coffin, the granite imported at great expense - he was putting on a show. The cemetery he built 10 kilometres away from Matjiesfontein itself, far from the road but - and here's the important part - visible to everyone coming in by train. Remember, that's how people moved around in those days. It is visible from the road, however, and you might have seen it on your right as you drove in. If you came by train, you would have seen it on your left as you pulled into the appropriately named Memorial Station.

    So shall we do some more moving around ourselves? If you're still sitting on the bench, look to the right-hand corner of this patch of grass. Can you see the small pathway heading along the river? When you're ready, start making your way over to it.

    Cricket Tour of 1901

    Pay wave

    Keep walking to the path, and then follow it along the river.

    Despite the war, James Logan's greatest ambition had yet to be fulfilled - taking a South African cricket team to Britain. Now, he wasn't going to let a little thing like a war get in the way of that, was he?

    So in 1901 he led the second ever South African cricket tour back to the old country. George Lohmann came along as manager, but he was to die from TB within a year, and was buried alongside Wauchope on the hillside.

    Continue straight.

    Back Across the River

    Pay wave

    Turn right here, and make your way back across the river. Then go past the chapel on your right, into the courtyard we were in earlier. We'll pick up where we left off when you get there.

    Scorched Earth

    Pay wave

    We're back in the courtyard! Let's turn right here, and walk through the white archway ahead into the gravel area.

    Logan's son, Jimmy Logan Junior, was on the SA team in England. He only ever played first-class cricket once, and it was for his country. So there's a tip - if you want to play for your country, make sure your dad controls the team!

    Logan was convinced that the war was nearly over, but it was just getting worse. This was the guerrilla phase, concentration camps and Kitchener's scorched earth policy, and the war raged on for another year.

    Keep walking along the gravel, with the river on your right.

    Bad Timing

    Pay wave

    Now turn left and continue along the gravel until you reach the road.

    Logan couldn't get away with leading a cricket tour at a time like this so easily, and when he arrived in the UK he had a pretty unfriendly welcome. A British chap called Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, wrote a scathing piece in the local press, slamming Logan and his team of fine young cricketers.

    Keep heading for the road. I'll tell you what he said when you get there.

    An Unfriendly Welcome

    Pay wave

    Now turn right, and head along the road.

    When the South African team arrived in Britain, this was the welcome written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

    "When our young men are going from North to South to fight for the cause of South Africa, these South Africans are coming from South to North to play cricket. It is a stain on their manhood that they are not out with rifles in their hands driving the invader from their country."

    [1 SECOND PAUSE]

    Continue straight.

    Tweedside Lodge

    Pay wave

    Now stop here for a moment.

    You'd imagine it'd be hard to spin Doyle's article in a good light, but Logan simply let the dust settle. A week later he replied, saying that his team had already played their part in war - which was the truth, by the way. He also pointed out that he himself had been wounded in battle - not the truth, but effective nonetheless. This turned the publicity around, and the South African team went on to play 25 games over the next 3 months, 15 of which were first class matches.

    One of the matches was against London County, run by the cricketing legend W.G. Grace, a household name throughout the British Empire and still one of the most revered players in cricket history. Logan tried to get him to return with him to Matjiesfontein, in what would have been his most successful publicity stunt yet, but Grace said his touring days were over.

    [1 SECOND PAUSE]

    By now, Logan was renting castles when he visited Scotland, donating generously to charities and becoming a true hero in the Scottish press. Just imagine that - leaving your native country as a penniless 19-year-old, and returning so rich that you can afford to rent the local castle as your holiday home, and share your wealth with the locals you left behind! On his visit to Britain with his team, he even built his father a house; and if you walk along the main road in Reston, Scotland, you'll find a house called "Karroo", spelled in the old fashion, with two R's.

    [1 SECOND PAUSE]

    You might be wondering why I stopped you here. Turn and look at the house on your right, with the indented entrance and the white and red striped roof. That's Tweedside Lodge, Logan's home in Matjiesfontein which we saw from the gardens. This was the first house in South Africa to have its own electricity supply and a water-born sewerage system, and was also the first to be linked by its own telephone line to Logan’s neighbouring farm, also called Tweedside. This is where I first noticed the Scottish connection with Matjiesfontein - both the house and the farm are named after the River Tweed in Scotland.

    Within my book, there's a picture of the world’s greatest cricketers seated right here on this impressive veranda in 1899. So feel to stand on the porch, and immerse yourself in the nostalgia of this historic location.

    This is also where Major Buist stayed on his visits to Matjiesfontein, the house filled with pictures, trophies and historical documents. You can imagine my delight, walking through the double doors in front of you, at finding such an archive right in the middle of town!

    [1 SECOND PAUSE]

    Now turn so that Tweedside Lodge is behind you. Can you see the small set of stairs on the other side of the road, leading up to the train station? That's where we're heading next, so when you're ready to move on, cross the road and walk up the stairs onto the platform.

    The Laird's Last Days

    Pay wave

    Stop here on the platform and look over to the hills on your right. That's where the troops were camped during the war. If you were here in the late 1890s, there would have been thousands of soldiers before you, stretching as far as the eye can see.

    [2 SECOND PAUSE]

    Now turn to your left, and look down the length of the station building. Imagine this at its height, a gleaming station in the middle of nowhere. This would have been the first thing visitors saw when they arrived, and at the time it was an unparalleled sight along the railway - a perfect British-styled station, built with materials imported from the old country. You can envisage how much of an impact this must have had.

    [1 SECOND PAUSE]

    So now Logan had fulfilled his big dream, having toured with a South African cricket team in England. He had become the ideal colonialist, taking British culture to South Africa, and bringing South Africa back to the seat of the empire. He was rewarded in 1902 when he and his wife were invited to the coronation of King Edward the 7th at Westminster Abbey, in an acknowledgement of service to the empire. You can see the original invitation and the clothes they wore housed here, in the town’s museum.

    [1 SECOND PAUSE]

    Now start walking along the station platform, with the railway tracks on your right.

    So what happened next in the life of our colourful colonialist? Well, the South African war ended in 1902, and six years later James Logan withdrew from politics. The Great War was on the horizon and the world would change forever. Logan saw out his days in his beloved Matjiesfontein where he died in 1920, aged 63. He is buried alongside his wife at the graveyard holding the monuments to the honoured war hero Andrew Wauchope and the cricketer George Lohmann.

    Matjiesfontein was passed on to Jimmy Logan Junior, who ran it until his own death in 1960, but its golden age had passed. 8 years later, the second ‘Laird of Matjiesfontein’, David Rawdon, would arrive to restore the town to its former glory. He, too, is buried here, in a discreet grave in the gardens we walked through earlier.

    Carry on walking along the station.

    Matjiesfontein FC

    Pay wave

    Stop here, and look off the station towards the mountains, away from the main road.

    David Rawdon spent a lot of time and effort trying to restore this town to its previous height, doing so until his death. But he couldn't do it alone. Matjiesfontein is a living community of about a thousand people, and they are all equally invested in this wonderful place. Everyone who works here lives in the small collection of houses in front of you, from the barman, to the hotel staff, to Johnny the blues-playing piano man.

    A passion for sport is a fundamental part of this community, and soccer is especially popular. When I arrived here, the Matjiesfontein football club was playing on gravel in whatever clothes and shoes they could find. I'm quite a fan of football myself, and for my sins I support Bristol City. Luckily, I was able to convince this professional club to donate football kits and equipment to Matjiesfontein, so that now the local team are finally able to compete in local tournaments. If you look behind the bar at the Laird's Arms, which we'll get to in a moment, you'll find a proud picture of the team posing in front of the Lord Milner hotel.

    I'm sure you're about ready for a drink, so let's make our way to the pub. Turn back to the main road, facing away from the railway tracks, and walk down the stairs off the station platform.

    To the Laird's Arms

    Pay wave

    Across the road in front of you is the old post office, which is now the gift shop. On the right of the post office is the pub called the Laird's Arms, our last stop. Head over there now, and I'll meet you there.

    End: The Laird's Arms

    Pay wave

    Great! This where we'll end the tour, conveniently within arm's reach of a nice cold beer, or a whisky if you're feeling a bit chilly.

    I hope you've enjoyed this walk, and have learned to love this village as I have. In this tour I've given you the short version of the story - for the full tale, you'll have to read the book. These are on sale next door, in the Post Office gift shop, and in case you've forgotten it's called Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa - Logan of Matjiesfontein. If you’d like to learn more visit my website: www.deanallen.co.za. If you forget the URL, just check the description of this route on the VoiceMap app. Once you've grabbed a copy of the book - or two - head into the Laird's Arms for a drink to top off the walk, and for a sing-along with old Johnny - you've earned it!

    If you have some time, stop in at the Lord Milner hotel. It's a beautiful old building, and this tribute to Victoriana has been the flagship of Matjiesfontein for over a century for a reason! Walking inside is like stepping back in time, and if you spend the night you'll be pampered by old world service and classic comfort.

    That's it from me. Until next time - goodbye!

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